The Water Sprite’s Garden

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I gazed into the garden pool,
Searching for my golden ball, but as
I stared into the vastly blue
I began seeing odd things, strange bits
Of woolly courage entangled on the
Garden floor. A fairy door left open,
Spilling sing-song diamonds and wet
Tears; the floral head of a goblin,
Scattering in the grass. I lay down
Where they fell, in garden beds of glass,
Where transparent corn flowers
Shone like icicles. And here he came,
The fish-lord, along a path of salmon
Pink scales, faint and gentle
Did he glimmer. He stopped when
He saw me, and for a moment,
The garden spun, like glass wheels, and
Pearls, white and golden fell
From his lips. And then the vision
Was gone, and left was the vastly blue,
Stealing into my veins, a loveliness
Neither of me or another. But the song,
Oh, that haunting song, ghostly and pale,
Pushed through the cotton fields and beckoned,
Like a full-bodied leaf traced by tender lips,
And I found a path of crushed sand, and the
Soft current of the song tripped over
My own lips. It was then, within one of the
Fairy doors, I saw
the mad old-woman’s face,
Something, a finger or a tiny fish,
nibbled at her cheek,
And I screamed, for that time-beaten face
Was exactly like my own.